Thursday, July 27, 2006

These are the states I know, I know....

Morgan showed me a site where you can map out all the states you've been in.

Here's mine.

Some of these states, while I've technically been in them, I wouldn't say I've visited. Some of them I've barely clipped. Maryland I flew to. Went from the Baltimore Airport to Washington DC. And didn't see much there, either except a quick drive at sunset one day around the Capitol & White House. Still. Kinda fun.

I'd like to see the Dakotas and the Pacific Northwest, followed by Minnesota, then the Virginias & Carolinas -- and finally, the Northeast.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

It's too darned hot!

I shouldn't complain. It's been a pretty nice summer so far, temperature-wise. But this week with heat indicies well over 100 degrees and actual ambient air tempatures either flirting with or hitting the 100 degree mark... I have just one word.


My car's in the shop this week getting the dent fixed and new front tires. We're staying indoors as much as possible. The big news is that Aunt Pat stopped at our oasis on her way back from Colorado and we had a nice visit. I'm afraid we wore her out Saturday & Sunday, though, as she & Sam went golfing. In the heat. We actually went with them Sunday. First time I'd ever been on a golf course. Eh. I could enjoy it I suppose. Definitely on a cooler day. But I played paparatzi and took photos instead. Imagine that.

Sam took this one of Aunt Pat and me, which turned out pretty nice I think.

Other than the golf, our visit was pretty low-key. But that's kinda the way we are, normally. Vicki and Aunt Pat played cards & dominoes, and we talked. Sat out on the deck in the evenings for "Cocktail Hour" (hey, I think I'm going to like retirement ... but that's a ways off).

She left yesterday morning, after a scare with Dad (her brother) -- he thought maybe he had another leg blood clot, but apparently it's just complications from his valve problem in his legs. His blood thickness test came back fine. So I guess chinese silkworm stomach enzymes DO work.

We've decided on, probably, the Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness area this September -- going to go see the mountains with their Aspens on. Might be a little nippy at night, so I'm thinking about maybe one of those catalytic tent heaters. Still need to find a good camping location there.

In other news, I'm having a little dispute with an Ebay seller over a replacement cell phone I ordered over a month ago. Their feedback is generally very good. I did note that the negative comments seem to be poor communication when the product is defective. Well mine was defective, and I'm experiencing the same thing. I shipped it back to them. I used the post office's Track & Confirm. Post Office said it was delivered almost a month ago. They say they don't have it and want me to get proof that the post office delivered it to the correct address.

Now I suppose it is possible that they did not, but that possibility is extremely remote. Judging by their carelessness in correspondence (ignoring several emails over the past two weeks), I think it's much more likely that they got it and misplaced it. At any rate, I'm out $66 if they don't agree that they got it, I guess. Even if I did insure it, as far as the post office is concerned it was delivered, so it wouldn't matter.

So if it doesn't work out, I guess the lesson is get signature confirmation on these things. But I was unhappy enough about having to pay return postage on it, much less add on signature confirmation.

Well, stay tuned on that one.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

General Stuff

That last post chronicled Vicki's and my visit with Sam out at his pond on the first, and then a visit with much of the Leith clan at Mom & Dad's on the 4th (I think Ryan and Kristie made it in there, too, from Sunday evening). Aunt Pat came up from Florida to visit everyone so we used that as an excuse to gather. Cousin Dawn and her husband Marty came down (Dawn still takes a good picture, doesn't she?) Julie and Guy, and Uncle Eddie and our other Aunt Pat. Tom, Betty, Joel, Jeff.... I had fun with Jeff playing a few tunes on the guitar and dulcimer. Jeff "gets" music theory better than I do and picked up the dulcimer pretty quickly.

I took Monday off and patched woodpecker holes on the back of the house and re-painted that whole side of the house -- most of it was on the chimney. We need concrete siding. Well, I did use autobody putty for the patching material. That's pretty hard stuff. Anyway it looks much better now.

Last Thursday we went down to Cooper's Landing. It was a beautiful evening, and my guitar instructor Lee Ruth was playing and I'd never seen him perform. He plays a lot of river songs, and his own songs have a certain warm quirkiness about it that matches his voice well. The sunset over the river was beautiful, and provided some good light on Lee which just completed the picture -- I think I was able to capture the mood quite well. I love the sunlight on his old Martin -- I think it's a D-18, and it's probably about 50 years old and it shows it. The sunlight helps visually marry the two subjects and might give an idea of what it sounded like as well.

There's a trailer-kitchen down there, like those you find at a fair where this Thai lady cooks up Thai food... we had Thai BBQ, which frankly tasted a lot like American BBQ. Not that that's a bad thing. There was a nice Thai cucumber salad, though, with hot peppers in it that was unique and went well with the ribs.

Let's see, I added a couple of shelves to the workbench in the garage to stash things like my coffee cans of random fasteners and some odd tools in boxes -- hole saw, mitre box saw -- things that don't hang well on peg board or take up too much room in a toolbox drawer.

Sarah and Mark & family just got back from Colorado, and she sent pictures because she is cruel and heartless and loves to taunt me. Actually, I appreciate hearing from an old friend and I always appreciate mountain pictures. She and I go back to our college days where I spent my time unfortunately too captivated by her roommate to fully appreciate her. She helped me through a fairly rough period in my life after I graduated and was always a good friend. It's good to have her in my life again, however peripherally. And she seems to share our love for the mountains. *sigh* Mountains. (Photo by Sarah)

Vicki and I went through pictures this weekend, culling ones we didn't want anymore and organizing some of the rest. I went through my old ones and found a few pictures of Sarah in College. She was always very photogenic -- and then there was me. So here's a gooofball shot of us back then. (I'm pretty sure I was pointing her face at the camera so she wouldn't hide it). Yeah. The cute one is Sarah, in case you're wondering.

We also ran across this great old one of Vicki with quite the glamorous hair do. Never knew she ever had it that way. And she said all the guys were after her roommate. Huh. Strange guys. I saw her room mate and I know which one I would've picked (hint, I'd remain in a married state if I told you).

Last night I decided it was time to fix the drip edge/gutter situation in front of the garage. Whoever installed it installed the gutter on the wrong side, and a lot of water from the roof ended up running down behind the gutter, causing an annoying cascade out front whenever it rained. Taking it apart was cake, but I soon figured out why they did it that way (no, it was still wrong but they did it that way because they were too lazy to fix the problem and do it right). The drip edge was longer than the gutter and wouldn't fit inside. So I had to cut it. I still had quite a bit of trouble getting it back up behind the drip edge and had to have Vicki come out and suffer the 100% (not exaggerating!) humidity and mosquitoes. It was only about 73 degrees outside, but the dewpoint was also 73 and absolutely no sweat would evaporate. It was not raining and yet I was very quickly drenched. Needless to say, a shower was in order after that ordeal. But it's done (except I need to re-patch a seam on the corner with some caulk when the gutter dries out.)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

4th Weekend Photo Essay

If a picture paints a thousand words, then you've got a LOT of reading ahead of you.